Huawei sub-brand Honor, and not Xiaomi, is the first smartphone maker to launch a mobile device with a 48-megapixel main camera. On December 26, it will also be the first to introduce a smartphone with in-screen camera solution. Since the launch of the Huawei P20 Pro early this year, smartphone makers have been engaged in a race to offer the best camera experience on a smartphone. This has led to develop phones with cameras that have higher megapixel counts.
Huawei set the bar high with the launch of the P20 Pro and Mate 20 Pro, which features a 40-megapixel main sensor. Now, Honor, the e-brand of Huawei has defeated it to showcase a smartphone with 48-megapixel main camera. With View20, set to launch in China on December 26, Honor will have a smartphone that brings two new technologies to the main front.
The Honor View20 will not only be the first to feature a 48-megapixel main camera but also the first to sport an in-screen camera. With the in-screen camera technology, Honor is making the dream of a smartphone that is all-screen, with no need for mechanized components or sliders for the front camera, a reality.
WATCH: This is what Honor View20 will look like
Honor says it achieved the possibility of an in-screen camera smartphone by drilling a hole with 4.5mm diameter. It claims previously only 6mm diameter hole was possible to be drilled on a display and it has now received five patents to make an even smaller hole that accommodates the entire front camera module. The new in-screen camera display is called as Full View Display 3.0 and Samsung and Huawei are set to launch devices with similar technology in the coming weeks.
There is no word on the resolution of this front camera but Honor is already detailing the rear 48-megapixel camera. The company will be using Sony IMX586 image sensor, which has a maximum resolution of 48 million pixels and supports 4-in-1 light fusion. During the brief time spent with a prototype device, it was immediately clear that the sensor is capable of capturing more details than previously possible and should ultimately aid in better zoom photos. The 1/2.0-inch sensor is also more sensitive to light with wider f/1.8 aperture and has four times sensor HDR (not software HDR) for wider dynamic range and enhanced details.
Honor has shared the device with few photographers in the Hong Kong area and the pictures shown by the company seemed as good as ones shot with a traditional DSLR. I would like to reserve my judgement till we see the real device but it is clear, if a smartphone aims to stand out in the crowd then it needs to nail the camera and the View20 could have the best in class imaging system when it debuts later this month in China.
Apart from the in-screen camera and Full View Display 3.0, Honor View20 will also support a new technology called the Link Turbo. The name is identical to GPU Turbo, which reshaped GPU processing on a smartphone and this tech aims to reshape connectivity. On a traditional smartphone, in use right now, the smartphone switches between WiFi and 4G or 3G depending on connectivity and signal strength but both the connectivity options do not work in tandem. With Link Turbo, Honor wants to make 4G LTE and WiFi work together, which is a first for any smartphone.
At the event in Hong Kong, Honor announced that its new Honor Magic 2 smartphone will be the first to get the feature. It will be available on Honor View20 next and other smartphones are likely to get the feature as an OTA update. Honor is showing its prowess as a technology brand and will bring all of those features to Honor View20 and future devices. Honor is the market leader in China but it needs to sell more smartphones in markets like India, where Xiaomi is the leader, to reach Huawei’s goal of shipping 200 million smartphones in one year. The Honor View20 launch is set for launch on December 26 in Beijing. The launch will be followed by global launch in Paris on January 22.
Disclaimer: The author is in Hong Kong at the invitation of Honor India. Honor paid for his travel and stay.